Pioneer Fund

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Investing in Livelihoods for the Last Mile

Investing in early stage, innovative and scalable social enterprises that improve the economic livelihoods of the world’s poor in rural and difficult to reach markets, or “the last mile”

Few organizations can successfully and sustainably deliver economic solutions and opportunity to the poor in deep rural areas given the substantial challenges and inefficiencies associated with serving a dispersed population of clients in remote locations.

The Pioneer Fund identifies promising social enterprises that are implementing market-driven business solutions in these challenging markets. Our investments capitalize companies that create income-generating opportunity for the poor and/or deliver tailored products and services to populations at the base of the pyramid.

We favor business models that build a network of meaningful connectivity with the poor in order to best understand and meet their needs, and those that use technology to facilitate and expand that outreach. Our investments aim to enhance and stabilize incomes, increase resiliency to economic shocks, diversify assets, promote financial inclusion and access to new markets, and provide access to actionable information for better risk-management decisions.

We offer early-stage, patient investment capital for enterprises that are committed to a social mission with tangible economic impact at an individual or family level. Our initial investment amounts of $250,000 to $750,000 are designed to fill the pioneer gap* where funding is most scarce and urgently needed in the impact investing sector. Additionally, wherever possible we use Grameen Foundation’s tools and solutions to help strengthen the social performance management, field operations and product offerings of pro-poor organizations.

For more information contact Thomas Light at capitalmarkets [at] grameenfoundation [dot] org.

Pioneer Fund Portfolio Clients

Juhudi Kilimo
Kenya

Juhudi Kilimo works with smallholder farmers and rural enterprises to create sustainable agri-businesses and improve client’s livelihoods. They work to provide their clients with access to wealth-creating assets, such as cows or irrigation systems, which generate incomes for their clients to repay their loans.

Musoni
Kenya

Musoni’s mission is to grow, build and maximize the potential of the businesses of the poor and unbanked of Kenya through the provision of affordable, flexible and customer-oriented financial services. Musoni is an innovative microfinance institution with the distinction of being the first institution to be “100% mobile”, disbursing and collecting loans through mobile money transactions.

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